Hi! I’m Sophie Banda, Associate Director at Tyto, and this is my location-agnostic life. In this series, we want to highlight the freedom our model enables and how we navigate any challenges it presents.
What’s your morning routine?
I’ve always loved reading about other people’s weird and wonderful morning rituals, so several years ago I came up with my own. Kicking off at 5am, it included a cold shower, celery juice, exercise, meditation, three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing…
Unsurprisingly it didn’t last long and within a week I was back to snoozing the alarm and scrolling on my phone in bed until the last possible minute. Not exactly the habits of a Highly Successful Person.
Nowadays I keep it simple: I’m up at 6am for an hour of yoga and meditation, then I take my dog Ella for a good walk in the park. Once we’re back home, Ella instantly falls asleep while I shower and get dressed, and then I settle down with a coffee listening to The Today Programme on Radio 4 to get a sense of the big news stories of the day.
How do you organise your day?
I’m a big fan of handwritten to-do lists, so I get through a lot of pens and lined paper notebooks. I’m constantly scribbling down ideas and doodling during calls as it really helps engage my creative brain in a way that typing on a keyboard doesn’t.
However, pens and notebooks often get eaten by dogs, so as a sensible backup measure I’ve started transferring my handwritten lists into a live Google Doc that’s bookmarked and open at all times. This lets me reshuffle and reprioritise things as the day progresses.
My Outlook calendar does a lot of heavy lifting. Every Sunday when I sit down to plan the week ahead I look at all my upcoming meetings and events, and I also try and block out a couple of meeting-free hours each day so I can give my full focus to tasks that involve writing or research.
There’s always lots of unscheduled ‘mutual appreciation time’ with my dog throughout the day – it’s vital for keeping us both motivated.
When are you the most productive?
Very early in the morning, before the steady stream of email notifications and Slack messages has begun.
What is your favourite workplace?
My local swimming pool in Manchester is a beautiful Victorian building with high ceilings and big windows, and they recently opened up a great coworking space upstairs.
Hiring a desk for the day includes use of the pool, sauna and gym, so I always go for a luxurious swim and steam session at lunch time – leaving my laptop upstairs, obviously.
What’s your favourite thing about working remotely?
Coffee breaks in my garden on a sunny day, and also having my mum pop round for a cuppa and a chat (which former colleagues in a busy office probably wouldn’t have appreciated).
What do you miss about working in an office?
Walking through London in the early morning is the only thing I really miss. My old office was tucked right in the heart of Soho and I loved my stroll along the colourful little winding roads with their cafes, boutiques, bars and fabric shops.
It was also great for people-watching; Soho is famous for its eccentric, bohemian locals, and its bleary-eyed partygoers still up from the previous night.
What’s your secret weapon?
The ‘Touch up my appearance’ feature on Zoom.
What do you like most about working at Tyto?
We’re an incredibly creative, driven bunch here at Tyto, which makes working with the team a pleasure – even when things inevitably get busy and stressful.
I’m always so impressed by the team’s sheer range of talent and expertise, and the general attitude of positivity, resourcefulness and camaraderie.